• Friday, December 19, 2014

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Oil Spill in sundarbans

Shipping ministry comes under fire

A House committee yesterday deplored Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan's remarks that the oil spill in the Sundarbans would not adversely affect the world's largest mangrove forest and its biodiversity. The parliamentary standing committee on the forest and environment ministry also expressed resentment over the shipping ministry's rejection to imposing a permanent ban on plying of commercial vessels through the Shela river, to save the Sundarbans. “We have recommended that the shipping ministry makes the Mongla-Ghasiakhali-Morolganj route eligible for plying of water...

Commentary by Mahfuz Anam

The massacred children are 'Ours'

The massacred children are 'Ours'

Ever since the massacre of children in Pakistan I have been thinking about the mindset of the people who carried it out. I was trying to understand what sort of a narrative could have made the assailants so barbaric and how could events have been so perversely interpreted for them as to make...

Govt Officials

Khaleda denies meeting

Khaleda denies meeting

Khaleda Zia yesterday dismissed reports of her recent meeting with government officials, saying intelligence agencies provided Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with wrong information. "Intelligence officials have given you [Hasina] false information about the meeting as you are running out of time," said the BNP chairperson. "I was the country's prime minister and also the opposition...

‘Dead’ Hefajat man returns

‘Dead’ Hefajat man returns

Al Faruk, 15, had gone missing since the May 6 police crackdown on Hefajat-e-Islam in the capital last year. The missing list Hefajat circulated soon after, too, had his name. His ghaibana janaza (funeral-in-absentia prayers) was held two days later; his kulkhwani followed accordingly. His family even observed his first death anniversary in May this year. One and a half years later, he appeared out of the blue and called his parents from a majar (shrine) in Chittagong. "I'm alive and am residing in Chittagong," Faruk told his mother. Stunned, his parents informed police who rescued him alive on Wednesday evening from a shrine in Chittagong. Hefajat-e-Islam, after the crackdown, had claimed that...

BCIM Economic Corridor

4 nations agree to create fund

A multi-billion dollar fund might be established to pull in resources from various parties to set up a thriving economic belt connecting Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar. About 55 percent of the fund might come from various multilateral development partners while the rest might be borne by the four governments and the private sector. It will cost about $22 billion to build the proposed Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM-EC), according to an initial estimate. The figure is not final and...

In the cold with no food, shelter

She was looking for something she could salvage in the hope that it would help her get through what apparently was the worst time of her life. Two days after the arson, her razed home was still smouldering. Pieces of half-burnt clothes and mangled pots were all Sumoti Bala could collect. They were kept in a neat pile at a corner of the torched house, even though she knew none of that would be useable. Still, she kept on looking for...

Backpage

'71 campaign that never really worked

'71 campaign that never really worked

With the Pakistan army facing defeats at East Pakistan war fronts one after another in December 1971, there were attempts to use religion to cover up the mindless genocide, boost their morale and raise funds for them. Terming the Pakistan troops mujahid or those who struggle for the sake of Islam, people were asked...

US-cuba Relations

World leaders hail move to normalise ties

World leaders welcomed the groundbreaking news that the United States and Cuba are moving to restore diplomatic relations and bury one of the last vestiges of the Cold War after more than 50 years of hostility. Celebrations broke out on the streets of Havana Wednesday as people living on a pittance per day in the communist-run island savoured the prospect of an end to the crippling US trade embargo and perhaps a brighter future. From China to Chile, plaudits rang out....

Moosa has $7b in 'frozen' Swiss account

Moosa has $7b in 'frozen' Swiss account

Flanked by bodyguards, business tycoon Moosa Bin Shamsher yesterday appeared at the Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters to face interrogation over the allegations that he amassed wealth illegally and laundered a huge amount of money to Switzerland. During interrogation, Moosa admitted that he has deposits worth $7 billion in Swiss Bank accounts that are now “frozen”, according to a top ACC official. "Moosa, however, denied allegation of amassing wealth illegally, claiming that he earned the amount abroad through international arms trading," he added. Asked about the “$7 billion”, Executive Director Mahfuzur Rahman of Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit said, "We are trying to gather information in different ways but what we have had so f...

Patuakhali War Crimes Accused

Forkan indicted

A special tribunal yesterday framed five charges against Forkan Mallik , an alleged Razakar commander from Mirzaganj in Patuakhali, for his involvement in crimes against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971. After passing the indictment order, the three-member International Crimes Tribunal-2 led by Justice Obaidul Hassan fixed January 19, 2015 for the beginning of the trial with opening statement and recording testimony of the prosecution witness. The tribunal read out the charges in Bangla so that the accused could understand...

Tarique faces arrest order

A Dhaka court has issued an arrest warrant for BNP senior vice-chairman Tarique Rahman in a defamation case filed for terming Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman a “big Razakar”. Metropolitan Magistrate Md Yunus Khan passed the order, hours after Mostafizur Rahman Dulal, a lawyer, filed the case against Tarique yesterday. The court also asked the officer-in-charge of Paltan Police Station to submit a report to it by February 2 next year on the execution of the warrant. Meanwhile, four more cases were filed...

Graft Cases Against Khaleda

Judge transferred

The government yesterday transferred the judge, who had been dealing with two corruption cases against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and eight others, midway through the trial after she expressed no confidence in him. The BNP chief filed two no-confidence petitions with the High Court in October, seeking orders on the government to transfer the cases from the Special Judge Court-3 of Dhaka that had Judge Bashudev Roy as its head. Justice Bashudev has been transferred to the position of a special...

Maintain high standards

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government has been working to establish a professional and well-trained armed forces and expressed the optimism that the Armed Forces will keep intact its role in future for fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the people. “Our armed forces were established in the battlefield of the Liberation War,” she said. “I'm confident that the Armed Forces will continue to maintain its high standards in its efforts, efficiency and professionalism,” the prime minister said while...

Hamid pays tribute to Gandhi

Hamid pays tribute to Gandhi

Bangladesh President Md Abdul Hamid paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at his memorial in Raj Ghat, Delhi yesterday on the first day of his six-day official visit to India.  In the visitors' book, Hamid later described India's Father of the Nation Gandhi as a "great soul of our times". Hamid was received at the Indira...

BSF shoots Bangladeshi

A Bangladeshi farmer was shot by Indian Border Security Force on Paschim Joydharbhanga border in Panchagarh Sadar upazila on Wednesday evening.   The victim, Abul Kalam, 45, is son of late Siraj Uddin of Paschim Joydharbhanga village.  Abu Daud Pradhan, chairman of Chaklahat Union Parishad, said some Bangladeshis were grazing their cattle near the barbed-wire fence of the border on Wednesday afternoon. Seeing this, the BSF members of Khayerbari camp in Jalpaiguri district chased the Bangladeshis. The Bangladeshis then brought their cattle to an...

BB asks for 2 Biman officials' bank info

Bangladesh Bank has asked banks to send account information of two suspended Bangladesh Biman officials arrested for their involvement with a gold-smuggling racket at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the central bank, in a letter sent to the banks recently, also asked them to send the account information of the families of the two arrestees within 15 days.  The letter was sent after Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police had moved to the central bank for...

Myanmar border guards kill Rohingya

Myanmar Border Guard Police (BGP) shot dead a Rohingya fisherman when he was fishing in the Naf river in Teknaf upazila yesterday morning. The dead is Kala Mia, 40. Kala, a Myanmar national, along with his family had been living in Teknaf illegally for long, according to police. Moktar Hossain, officer-in-charge of Teknaf Model Police Station, said Kala along with two other fishermen went to Nila point of the river for catching fish in the morning. When Kala was netting fish in...

Exonerated 70yrs after execution

Exonerated 70yrs after execution

George Stinney Jr became the youngest person to be executed in the US in the 20th century when he was sent to the electric chair in 1944, but more than 70 years after his death his conviction has been overturned.  On Wednesday, he was exonerated. Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen said the speed with which the...

Asylum-seeker babies to stay in Australia in 'one-off' deal

Thirty-one babies born to asylum-seeker parents in Australia will be allowed to stay in the country in a "one-off" arrangement, the immigration minister said Thursday, stressing the government's hardline stance against boat arrivals "remains in full effect". Scott Morrison said the babies and their families would not be sent back to the government detention centre on the Pacific island of Nauru while their refugee claims are assessed. "Along with those 31 babies, I am also allowing their immediate family members to...

Kenyan MPs debate controversial new terror law after Shebab killings

Kenyan lawmakers Thursday debated controversial new security legislation that would crack down on terror suspects and curtail journalists' freedoms. The legislation was proposed after a string of attacks in Kenya by Somalia-based Shebab insurgents. It includes proposals boosting the time police can hold terror suspects from the current 90 days to nearly a year, increasing sentences, and giving investigators more powers to tap phones. Under the bill journalists could face up to three years behind bars if their reports "undermine investigations or...

At least 28 killed in C Africa violence

At least 28 people were killed and dozens were injured in the latest clashes between armed groups in the Central African Republic, police said yesterday. "Violent clashes broke out on Tuesday in the centre of Mbres," an official from the armed police told AFP, adding that the death toll had been given by the local Red Cross. The clashes in the former French colony were the latest pitting the so-called "anti-balaka" militia formed by the Christian majority against mainly Muslim rebels...

Widow of S Korea ferry tycoon receives suspended jail sentence

The widow of the South Korean tycoon blamed for April's ferry disaster that killed more than 300 passengers received a suspended 18-month jail sentence Thursday for embezzlement. Prosecutors indicted Kwon Yoon-Ja, 71, for siphoning off some $28 million from a business group that owns Chonghaejin Marine Co., the operator of the ill-fated Sewol ferry. A district court in Incheon City also sentenced her brother Kwon Oh-Kyun to five years in prison for pocketing the diverted funds. Kwon Yoon-Ja is the widow of...

'Multiple human errors' led to deadly Taiwan gas blasts

Prosecutors said deadly gas explosions in Taiwan were caused by "multiple human errors" yesterday as they charged 12 people over the blasts, including the head of a chemical company and government officials. The disaster killed 32 people and wounded more than 300 in southern Kaohsiung city as explosions in underground pipelines sparked massive fires on July 31 and left trenches running down the middle of some streets, with vehicles thrown onto the roofs of buildings. In the first indictments since the...

Mumbai Carnage

Pak court grants bail to Lakhvi

A Pakistani court yesterday granted bail to the alleged mastermind of the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, lawyers told AFP, a move likely to further inflame tensions with India. The 60-hour siege on India's economic capital left 166 people dead and was blamed on the banned Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). Relations between the two nuclear-armed rivals worsened dramatically after the carnage, in which 10 gunmen attacked luxury hotels, a popular cafe, a train station and a Jewish centre. Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, accused...

Greece scrambles to avoid early elections

The race was on in Greece yesterday to forestall early elections -- and a possible blow to fiscal reforms -- hours after parliament failed to elect a new president. Only 160 deputies on Wednesday supported the government candidate, former EU commissioner Stavros Dimas, far short of the 200 required. The focus will now shift to December 23 when the parliament will vote in a second round, once again requiring 200 votes for Dimas to win. "First ballot below expectations," commented the liberal...

Jihadists claim 2013 murders of Tunisia secularists

Jihadists who have since joined the Islamic State group claimed twin murders of secular politicians that plunged Tunisia into crisis in 2013, in a video posted online yesterday. "Yes, tyrants, we're the ones who killed Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi," Abou Mouqatel, a militant wanted by the authorities for their murders, said in the video in which he appeared with several others. It was not clear where the video was filmed but Abou Mouqatel claimed they were in an area under...

Business

Switching between mobile networks possible in 3 years

Switching between mobile networks possible in 3 years

Mobile operators said they will be able to let users switch from one operator to another without changing their numbers within two to three years. Bangladesh Telecommu-nication Regulatory Commi-ssion is now taking opinions of stakeholders, including subscribers and operators, to introduce the service -- mobile number portability (MNP). More than 70 countries have MNP, which increases competition among operators in terms of service quality, said Md Sarwar Alam, BTRC secretary and spokesperson. The process of taking the opinions on whether the service would be viable for Bangladesh, when it should be introduced and how it will benefit users started a month ago and will run till tomorrow, he said. TIM Nurul Kabir, secretary...

Enthusiasm over tourism fair in Chittagong

Enthusiasm over tourism fair in Chittagong

Chittagong will be built into a tourism city and a commercial hub, Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon said yesterday. The tourism industry has not yet been explored properly, the minister said while opening an international fair—Chittagong Travel Mart 2014—in the port city. The Bangladesh Monitor, a fortnightly travel publication, orgainsed the three-day...

Omera Petroleum to enter LPG market in March

Omera Petroleum to enter LPG market in March

Omera Petroleum is set to supply liquefied petroleum gas to households and industries from March next year in a bid to tap the growing demand for an alternative to piped gas. A subsidiary of lubricant supplier MJL Bangladesh, Omera Petroleum has invested around Tk 540 crore to set up operations, which includes the purchase of the country's first LPG carrying barge, Omera Princess, and incorporating European technology at its facilities. “This reflects our commitment to ensuring global standards,” said Ishtiaq Ahmed, Omera Petroleum's chief executive officer.   To be sold under the brand name of Omera LPG, the cylinders would come in: 5.5kg, 12kg and 35kg. For industries, it would provide tailored...

Micromax launches smartphone with Google

Micromax launches smartphone with Google

Indian handset vendor Micromax Informatics yesterday launched the Android One smartphone in partnership with Google Inc for the Bangladesh market. Consumers in Bangladesh will get the new device for Tk 10,000. Android's 4.4 KitKat operating system handset features front and rear-facing cameras, 1 gigabit RAM and a 1.3 gigahertz quad-core processor with dual SIM options. The...

Canadian charity contributes $20,000 to Rana Plaza families

The Steelworkers Humanity Fund, a Canadian charity, yesterday said it contributed $20,000 toward compensation for victims and families affected by the 2013 Rana Plaza tragedy. "In announcing this contribution to the Rana Plaza Trust Fund, we are calling once again on retailers and clothing brands to fulfill their obligations to compensate victims and families," Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers (USW) National Director, said in a statement. "North American retailers and international clothing brands have collectively failed to provide the full $40 million...

Fortis opens first cardiac centre in Bangladesh

India's Fortis Escorts Heart Institute opened its Bangladesh unit yesterday, aiming to provide cost-effective cardiac care service. Fortis will manage and operate the 42-bed centre set up by AFC Health Ltd, a concern of Bangladesh-based Active Fine Chemicals, at Sonadanga in Khulna at a cost of around Tk 30 crore. The 23,000-square-foot centre will offer diagnostic services such as angiography to detect heart diseases as well as varied treatment options, including artificial pacemaker, coronary artery bypass, valve replacement and periphery...

Stocks back to the black

Stocks returned to the black yesterday, breaking a five-day losing streak, although turnover declined 18.7 percent from the previous day. DSEX, the benchmark index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange, finished the week at 4,856.41 points, after increasing 18.49 points, or 0.38 percent. The shariah index—DSES—also rose 6.95 points or 0.61 percent before closing at 1,144.83 points. The index moved sharply higher in the early trading hours after moving down all weeklong, said LankaBangla Securities. “Stocks have restored some ground but remained mostly positive....

CSE revises trading charges

The Chittagong Stock Exchange has revised trading charges in line with the Dhaka bourse. The port city bourse withdrew share transaction charges, commonly known as hawla, and increased the commission on trade to 0.03 percent from 0.02 percent earlier. “This will supersede all previous decisions in respect of contract charges and commission,” the CSE said in a posting on its website yesterday. Earlier on Wednesday, the Dhaka Stock Exchange revised its stock trading charges, following the introduction of a lot-free share transaction...

Once an investor-darling, Niko is now up for sale

Stuck with massive liabilities and no way to grow production in its core area, Niko Resources Ltd, once an investor-darling with shares trading in triple digits, has put itself up for sale. Analysts have watched Niko's share price plummet in a years-long-fall from more $100 per share in 2010 to close at 28¢ on Wednesday, when the company said it had hired investment bank Jefferies LLC to look for "strategic alternatives" including its "outright sale." "It's very disappointing what's happened to...

Modi moves in to speed up $300b stuck projects

Modi moves in to speed up $300b stuck projects

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken direct control of a project-monitoring body to fast-track investments worth almost $300 billion and revive manufacturing in the country, two officials with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Pro-business Modi has faced criticism in recent weeks that his ambition to spur investment and re-energise the economy...

Is China's economy really the largest in the world?

For the first time in more than 140 years, the US has lost the title of the world's largest economy - it has been stolen by China, according to the IMF. But how reliable are the statistics underpinning this claim? The BBC's economics editor, Robert Peston, explains lower down why China matters to all of us. The Chinese economy is now worth $17.6tn, slightly higher than the $17.4tn the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates for the US. So for the first...

China's JD.com to sell Gap clothing, vying with Alibaba to woo Western brands

China's JD.com Inc has partnered Gap Inc to sell the US clothing retailer's apparel online in China, as the Beijing-based e-commerce company goes head to head with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd to woo big foreign fashion names. Alibaba and JD.com, China's No. 1 and 2 e-commerce companies respectively, are vying to ink deals with some of the world's most recognized brands, which offer big boosts in both sales and image at home and overseas. By announcing its partnership with JD.com in...

Putin: What ruble crisis?

President Vladimir Putin assured Russians on Thursday that the economy would rebound after the ruble's dramatic slide this year but offered no remedy for a deepening financial crisis. In an assured performance at a three-hour news conference, Putin blamed the economic problems on external factors and said the crisis over Ukraine was caused by the West, which he accused of building a "virtual" Berlin Wall to contain Russia. Putin even cracked jokes at times, despite pressure to fix an economy that...

Oldest urea plant faces closure

The country's first urea plant in Fenchuganj may face closure soon, as the state-run unit does not have enough funds to bear the cost of repairing one of its transformers that went out of order on July 30. The possibility of resuming production at the unit is thin, as the technology of the Natural Gas Fertiliser Factory (NGFF) established in 1961 is also too backdated, said the plant's Managing Director Iskandar Ali. The 450 staff of the unit run by Bangladesh...

Sports

Good Japanese lesson

Good Japanese lesson

The gulf of difference between Japan's football and that of Bangladesh's was starkly exposed at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday as the national team of Bangladesh went 0-3 down against the U-21 side of that country in a Category 2 FIFA Friendly. The young brigade of the second-ranked Asian side, being groomed for the...

'We failed to mark third attacker'

Despite keeping the Japan U-21 side at bay till the 60th minute on the face of an onslaught of attacks, the Bangladesh national team suffered a 0-3 defeat, thanks to three goals in the space of 15 minutes. The Bangladesh defenders thwarted numerous attacks in the first half, defending deep and resolutely, but as the game wore on, they struggled to contain the three-pronged attack of the Japanese youngsters. The Bangladesh defenders were especially guilty of failing to mark the...

Kalabagan safe for now

Abdur Razzak spun Kalabagan Krira Chakra to a comfortable eight-wicket victory against winless Old DOHS in the fog-curtailed Dhaka Premier Relegation League match at BKSP yesterday. The delayed start reduced the match to a 30-over per-side affair and veteran left-arm spinner Razzak claimed five wickets while pacer Shahadat Hossain took three wickets to dismiss DOHS for 115 runs. Kalabagan rode on Nasiruddin Faruque's unbeaten 46 to reach the target with eight wickets in hand. Kalabagan improved their tally to six points and...

Negre lays foundation of blue turf

International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Leandro Negre laid the foundation stone of the first ever blue synthetic turf at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday. The Spaniard, who wrapped up his four-day visit to Bangladesh late last night, hoped the new blue turf would herald a new chapter in Bangladesh hockey. This is the third synthetic turf at the premier hockey venue of the country. The first one at this venue was installed in 1996 and the second one was...

Hashim hits double tons

Hashim hits double tons

South African captain Hashim Amla hit his third Test double century and Stiaan van Zyl made a hundred on debut before rain brought a premature end to the second day of the first Test on Thursday. Amla made 208 and the left-handed Van Zyl hit an unbeaten 101 as South Africa piled up 552...

Smith strikes a balance

Steve Smith again proved the elusive wicket for India as the new captain led an Australian fight-back on Day Two of the second Test on Thursday. Smith, who was not dismissed by India in last week's Adelaide Test win with scores of 162 and 52, continued to be the bane of the tourists with another defiant knock. His intuitive stroke-making was again a delight and he danced down the wicket to club spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for two sixes over long-on in...

Mangongo sacked

Stephen Mangongo has been fired as Zimbabwe's coach just eight weeks before the World Cup. Mangongo's dismissal comes after the team lost all eight fixtures on their recent Bangladesh tour, which included three Tests and five ODIs. No replacement has been announced but Zimbabwe Cricket will hold interviews next week and unveil a new coach after Christmas. Mangongo, who had been in the position for five months, will be redeployed to work with the national Under-19 side because the administration...

Waqar wants a win

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis feels a win in the fifth and final one-dayer against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi on Friday will give his team a boost for next year's World Cup. New Zealand levelled the five-match series 2-2 with a narrow seven-run win in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, setting up an intriguing finale to the tour after the preceding three-match Test and two-Twenty20 series were shared 1-1. Waqar said the series would give Pakistan an idea on where they stand...

ECB wants WC finals at Lord's

Lord's should host the 2019 World Cup final, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) recommended to the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday. Lord's, which staged the World Cup final in 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1999, has also been put forward to host the women's World Cup final in 2017. The ECB also suggested to the ICC that the opening game of the 2019 tournament should be staged at The Oval, London with the semifinals to take place at Old...

Tsonga out of Hopman Cup

French number one Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Thursday pulled out of January's mixed team Hopman Cup in Australia due to an arm injury, organisers said. Tsonga, who with partner Alize Cornet won the tournament this year, said he was disappointed at not being able to defend the title. "I'm disappointed I have to withdraw from the Hopman Cup as I was looking forward to returning to Perth to play with Alize," said the world number 12. "But a persisting injury to my arm...

Reus fined for driving offence

German international Marco Reus has been slapped with a record EUR540000 ($665,000) fine for driving without a licence, the daily Bild reported Thursday. "Today I know it: I was much too naive in this situation, it was a stupidity I have learned from," said the 25-year-old. "I've learned my lesson it will never happen again." According to Bild, the fine is a record in Germany for such an offence. The Borussia Dortmund player who is currently out with a right ankle injury was...

Germany at the zenith

World champions Germany comfortably top the pile of the FIFA national team rankings revealed Thursday despite a slump in form since their rampant campaign in Brazil. The top three remain unchanged since September with Lionel Messi's beaten World Cup finalists Argentina second and Colombia in third. Up-and-coming Belgium are fourth ahead of their northern Neighbours the Netherlands while the humiliated World Cup hosts Brazil round off the year in a respectable sixth. Euro 2016 hosts France are seventh as Didier Deschamps' solid...

Serena, Novak top ITF awards

Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams were named as men's and women's World Champions for 2014 on Thursday by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). It is the fourth time that Djokovic has taken the top award after he won Wimbledon, the ATP World Tour finals and finished the year ranked number one in the world by the ATP. The 27-year-old Serb is one of only four men to be named ITF World Champion four or more times, alongside Ivan Lendl, Pete Sampras...

Spurs, Liverpool thru'

Spurs, Liverpool thru'

Tottenham Hotspur strolled into the League Cup semifinals with a 4-0 rout of Premier League rivals Newcastle United on Wednesday and Liverpool's Raheem Sterling netted a sharply-taken double in a 3-1 win over Bournemouth. Nabil Bentaleb, Nacer Chadli, Harry Kane and Roberto Soldado were on target for Spurs against Newcastle who conceded four times...

Bundess Liga

Dortmund stay put

Dortmund stay put

Ailing German giants Borussia Dortmund remain in the Bundesliga's relegation places after a battling 2-2 draw with second-placed VfL Wolfsburg on Wednesday. The draw leaves defending champions Bayern Munich 11 points clear at the top of the table. Dortmund twice let the lead slip, a piece of sloppy defending five minutes from time ultimately costing...

San Lorenzo scrape past Auckland

San Lorenzo scrape past Auckland

South American champions San Lorenzo needed extra-time to see off the gallant challenge of Auckland City as they beat the New Zealand part-timers 2-1 in the Club World Cup semifinal on Wednesday. Auckland's unlikely dream of facing European champions Real Madrid in Saturday's final in Marrakech ended when substitute Mauro Matos fired San Lorenzo's...

'Starc's body language soft, not himself'

Shane Warne was in damage control Thursday after Australia coach Darren Lehmann threatened to confront him after the spin great blasted fast bowler Mitchell Starc as "soft". During a commentary stint during the second Test in Brisbane on Wednesday, Warne demanded more aggression from an Australian team wilting in blistering heat during the second Test against India, singling out Starc. "He has to change his body language, it needs to be stronger -- he looks a bit soft," Warne said on...

Bundess Liga

Mainz plot Bayern upset

Mainz plot Bayern upset

Mainz 05 are hoping to find runaway leaders Bayern Munich distracted by the winter break on Friday with Pep Guardiola's side hunting more Bundesliga records in their final match of 2014. "An hour after the game, they'll be on holiday," joked Mainz manager Christian Heidel, "so maybe they'll be in the appropriate mood." Not if...

Vote For Diver-of-the-year

Vote For Diver-of-the-year

The shortlist for the Fallon d'Floor -- a parody of the Ballon d'Or that rewards the best dive of the year -- has been revealed at www.fallondfloor.com.          The website features movie-styled posters of the culprits and gives fans all the voting power to select the best dive.

Editorial

Editorial

Heinous attack on hills people

INDIGENOUS people of Naniarchar upazila of Rangamati whose houses and shops were ransacked and torched and temple looted allegedly by some Bengali settlers on Tuesday have refused to accept relief materials and cash provided by the administration. They rather demanded that before everything else, their houses and shops be rebuilt and given assurance against any further attack of this kind in the future. The local indigenous population's sentiments and fears are not without grounds. The nature of the damage done...

Editorial

Field study without fund allocation?

THE so-called study launched by the forest department in an attempt to ascertain what impact the oil spill has had on the environment is turning out ludicrous. Not only has there been no financial allocation made for a serious impact assessment study to be conducted, we are told that the forest department is yet to take any real steps to arrest the continued degradation of the ecology of the Sundarbans. Precious time is being lost due to inaction. It...

Op-ed

Editorial

Heinous attack on hills people

INDIGENOUS people of Naniarchar upazila of Rangamati whose houses and shops were ransacked and torched and temple looted allegedly by some Bengali settlers on Tuesday have refused to accept relief materials and cash provided by the administration. They rather demanded that before everything else, their houses and shops be rebuilt and given assurance against any further attack of this kind in the future. The local indigenous population's sentiments and fears are not without grounds. The nature of the damage done...

Editorial

Field study without fund allocation?

THE so-called study launched by the forest department in an attempt to ascertain what impact the oil spill has had on the environment is turning out ludicrous. Not only has there been no financial allocation made for a serious impact assessment study to be conducted, we are told that the forest department is yet to take any real steps to arrest the continued degradation of the ecology of the Sundarbans. Precious time is being lost due to inaction. It...

CROSS TALK

Going back to Bush and Saddam

FYODOR Dostoevsky writes in Crime and Punishment that it takes something more than intelligence to act intelligently. Those words rang hollow in the report on the CIA torture recently released by the US Senate Intelligence Committee. It confirmed that this resplendent wisdom was sorely missing in the hostility between the living former US president George W. Bush and late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Neither of them acted intelligently although both of them apparently used intelligence. The CIA report isn't about...

A wake up call

THE recent oil spillage in the Sundarbans has already taken a hefty toll on the world's largest mangrove forest ecosystem. Animals have started to die and tree roots are under layers of oil. There is no denying that institutional incapacities and weak enforcement of laws in Bangladesh have aggravated the impact of this and many other accidents. The spill has drawn global attention at a time when world leaders at the Lima Climate Talks are specifically focusing on the...

PLEASURE IS ALL MINE

Record get-aways: Smooth as knife through butter

WITH crime and corruption incidence high, investigations derailed, arrests gone fugitive as accused with bloated chest roam free, and conviction rate the lowest of low, Bangladesh is a country of get-aways. This is a sad outcome of systematic de-institutionalisation. Of course, the number of institutions has increased over time. Yet, we are left with little of their integrity after two and a half bouts of military or semi-military rule for 17 years and political vendetta ruining them, ironically since restoration...

The Taliban attack: Message Pakistan and the world can't ignore

MASS scale violence is sadly not uncommon in Pakistan, and the Tahrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has shown few scruples in attacking civilians in the past, yet the massacre of school children in Peshawar on Tuesday is unprecedented by all measures. The attack on a church in September this year, which cost 80 lives, and that on a Shia shrine a year earlier costing 120 lives were ghastly, but they pale in comparison to what happened on Tuesday at a school...

HUMOROUSLY YOURS

Crying Over Spilt….

Crying Over Spilt….

THE ancient boat discovered in Kuakata is left unscathed. Lucky, considering that it is a recreational sport for us to beat to death any strange being coming out of the waters. So don't fret. Operation Fingers Crossed is powered by Taka 200,000 and 200 fishermen to scoop, soak, squeeze, sponge, store and then sell...

Letter To The Editor

Dastardly attack on schoolchildren

Dastardly attack on schoolchildren

At least 132 children were killed and several others injured in a horrific attack at a school in Peshawar, Pakistan on December 16. Gunmen entered the school premises and indiscriminately opened fire on innocent children who were attending classes and exams in the morning session. We have no word to condemn this barbaric...

Letter To The Editor

A crook's last trick to keep job

Wahidur Rahman, the chief engineer of Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), resorted to a novel way to extend his service period for the third time (although it was reported later that he failed to do so). What he did was very smart; he presented a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) worth Tk. 3.5 crore to the LGRD minister using the funds of the Primary Education Development Programme-3 (PEDP-3). We have known from your report that he earlier extended his job...

Letter To The Editor

Kudos to Malala and Satyarthi

Malala Yousafzai remains an inspiration for the suppressed people all around the globe in their fight against all odds as she is boldly protesting all forms of torture by the vested interest groups. In a similar vein, Kailash Satyarthi should be our role model for his supreme sacrifice and selfless service for the innocent, vulnerable kids whose immense potential get ruthlessly nipped in the bud. Indeed no kudos is enough for the Nobel Peace Prize Committee for awarding due...

Comments on news report

“Gift didn't work,” published on December 12, 2014 Saiekh Sohrauddin Legal procedures should be followed to immediately sue this man. Snr Citizen Just the tip of the iceberg. Goodbye, Wahidur Rahman. **** “CIA's odious torture tactics” (Dec. 12, 2014) Md. Golam Mortoza May the history be written with the facts and the leaders of the then-US government put in the right place. Hope eventually the people of the world will know what actually happened on 9/11 and onward and how the so called 'civilised' leaders came forward...

Commentary by Mahfuz Anam

The massacred children are 'Ours'

The massacred children are 'Ours'

Ever since the massacre of children in Pakistan I have been thinking about the mindset of the people who carried it out. I was trying to understand what sort of a narrative could have made the assailants so barbaric and how could events have been so perversely interpreted for them as to make...

Entertainment

Komola Collective stages ''Birangona: Women of War''

Komola Collective stages ''Birangona: Women of War''

The Liberation War of Bangladesh is marked with the valour of our heroes, whereas the stories of war heroines are on their way to oblivion in our history. And sadly enough, the tales of hundreds of thousands of women, whose life became nightmarish during the war, go untold. Komola Collective, a London-based theatre...

Tanvir Mokammel's film screening in Chittagong

Tanvir Mokammel's film screening in Chittagong

To mark Victory Day, Bangladesh Film Institute and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy has jointly arranged a seven-day film festival in Chittagong, says a press release. The festival that began on December 18 at the district Shilpakala Academy features 13 films and documentaries by internationally-acclaimed director Tanvir Mokammel. Along with the award-winning films of the...

Cultural activists rally for Sunderbans

Cultural activists rally for Sunderbans

Cultural activists took to the streets on Wednesday, armed with their weapons of choice-- music and performance arts --to protest the destructive policies and practices of the government regarding the Sundarbans. They also demanded an immediate ban on the transportation of furnace oil through the mangrove forest, during a rally organised by musical...

Return of the Photography extravaganza

Return of the Photography extravaganza

The eighth edition of Chobi Mela, the biggest photography festival of Asia, is all set to begin on January 23, 2015. Organised by Drik Picture Library Limited and Pathshala South Asian Media Academy, the biennial festival brings photographers, experts and connoisseurs from all over the globe for a two-week extravaganza of exhibitions, artist...

RAPID FIRE

NOWSHIN: ''I fear bad propaganda''

NOWSHIN: ''I fear bad propaganda''

Nowshin   has  earned  repute as an actress-anchor on the small screen and has used her undeniable talent to enter the celluloid world as well. The actress is quite relaxed about being fired with questions, most of which she has never answered before. What do you usually do when you are in a  bad mood? Nowshin: Spend time with my child What is your greatest fear? Nowshin: Bad propaganda or when a dear one  gets angry with me. Any thing you would do differently if you could go back to your childhood? Nowshin: I would  undo the  mistakes I made. What  would you be if not an actress? Nowshin: A perfect housewife Who is it you most want to...

Kat Graham could play X-Men's Storm

Kat Graham could play X-Men's Storm

With the upcoming “X-Men: Age of Apocalypse” film set to introduce younger versions of some of the original X-Men characters, speculation on the casting of Storm has been up in the air. The latest rumour is that X-Men's Storm will be played by “The Vampire Diaries” star Kat Graham. Even with Halle Berry's immense popularity as storm, Graham could be a good signing. Not only is she gorgeous and can easily pull off looking like a younger version of Berry, but also her role as Bonnie Bennett on the CW series is the perfect preparation for playing a strong, super-powered female. In the Marvel Universe, mutant Storm (real name Orora Munroe)...

''Dhaka's kacchi biryani was awesome''…Indrani Halder

''Dhaka's kacchi biryani was awesome''…Indrani Halder

Indrani Haldar is an accomplished Indian film and television actress with multiple awards on her shelves. On a visit to Dhaka recently, Indrani talked to The Daily Star about her soft corner for the city and her busy career: When did you last visit Dhaka? Indrani:  About 18 years ago to do a film of thespian Ujjal. Did you enjoy going around the city ? Indrani:  A lot. I've noticed remarkable changes in Dhaka, including the terrible traffic snarl ups. More than ever, I am overwhelmed by the hospitality of the people --I have been flooded with gifts and invitations. What brings you to Dhaka this time? Indrani:  I came here at the invitation of...

Photography exhibition marking Victory Day

A three-day photography exhibition organised by Alokchitra Shilpi Sangsad (Ashis) to mark Victory Day at Boishakhi Mancha of Shaheeb Quarter Park area in the town concluded on Wednesday. A total of 220 photographs on the War of Liberation were displayed at the exhibition.  The images were largely  taken by internationally reputed photographer late Naib Uddin Ahmed. Visitors in  hundreds thronged the venue to enjoy the exhibition. Earlier, Deputy Commissioner of Mymensingh Mustakim Billah Faruqui inaugurated the exhibition as chief guest. Former-vice chancellor of...

NEWS bytes

Smith, Swift and Sheeran to perform at Brits

Smith, Swift and Sheeran to perform at Brits

Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith have all been booked to appear at next year's Brit Awards ceremony. They are the first names to be announced for the event in February at the O2 Arena in London. Swift last played at the Brits in 2013, performing her hit “I Knew You Were Trouble”. Ed...

IT'S TRUE!

IT'S TRUE!

A morsing (also mukharshanku, mourching, morching or morchang), also called the Jaw Harp in English, is a wind percussion instrument, mainly used in Rajasthan, in the Carnatic music of South India and in Sindh (Pakistan). It consists of a metal ring in the shape of a horseshoe with two parallel forks which form...

City

Govt busy hiding Sundarbans disaster

Govt busy hiding Sundarbans disaster

Rather than giving attention to clear the Sundarbans waters of oil properly, the government is busy covering up the negative impacts of the spillage, a team of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (Bapa) said at Dhaka Reporters Unity yesterday, after a visit to the affected areas.  The seven-member team saw many people hired by Bangladesh Forest...

Land key to protection of all other rights in CHT

If the government establishes the indigenous people's right to land in Chittagong Hill Tracts, other rights will be defended automatically, National Human Rights Commission Chairman Dr Mizanur Rahman said yesterday, laying emphasis on the full implementation of the 1997 peace accord in the shortest possible time. He said the country could not make progress without the advancement of the Adivasis. Mizanur called for reserving parliamentary seats for indigenous people, wherein only the indigenous communities will vote to pick their lawmakers. This...

Sylhet police sue 800 over OC's death

Police sued 800 people over the death of officer-in-charge of Osmaninagar Police Station Mostafizur Rahman who "fell sick" while he was trying to quell Wednesday's clash between two groups of auto-rickshaw drivers and backed by local residents in Balaganj upazila of Sylhet. Sub-inspector Anwar Hossain on Wednesday night filed the case with the police station making Goalabazar Union Parishad Chairman Ataur Rahman Manik Mia, also general secretary of Osmaninagar thana unit of BNP, the prime accused. Vandalism and assault on police...

Attack On Adivasis In Rangamati

CHTC for probing govt agencies

Condemning Tuesday's attack on the indigenous people in Naniarchar upazila of Rangamati, the International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission (CHTC) yesterday called for a judicial inquiry into the role of the local civil administration, law enforcement agencies, and the army in the hills. "The CHTC is disturbed by repeated attacks," it said in a statement, expressing shock that "the arson attacks occurred in the presence and with the active participation of some army officials". The incident came a day after a 14-year-old...

Court summons Fakhrul for calling Hasina 'killer'

A Dhaka court yesterday asked BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir to appear before it on January 22 next year in a defamation case filed against him for terming Awami League a “killer party” and its chief Sheikh Hasina a “killer”. Metropolitan Magistrate Amit Kumar Dey passed the order after Paltan police submitted an investigation report to it on Monday, citing that the allegation was found true, and recommending that Fakhrul should be tried for the remarks, said...

Condemnations against attack on Pak school keep pouring in

Eminent citizens in a statement yesterday condemned the attack by Taliban gunmen on a school in Peshawar in Pakistan that left 142 people, including 132 children, dead on Tuesday. This inhuman act was a disaster for the whole world, not only Pakistan, read the statement of Bangladesh Rukhe Darao, a platform of progressive and pro-liberation forces. In the name of religion, the fanatic group did not hesitate to kill innocent children to establish medieval beliefs, it added. Professor Emeritus Anisuzzaman, Syed Shamsul...

Jubo Dal Man Killing

Top criminal Emon planner

Top listed criminal Sanjidul Islam Emon was the mastermind behind the killing of former ward level leader of Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal Afzal Hossain Sattar alias Gal Kata Sattar from the jail over establishing supremacy on tannery business in the capital's Hazaribagh, claimed Rab at a press briefing yesterday.  Emon plotted the murder with his close associates Ibharim Khalil alias Bulu and Masud Hasan whose elder brother was killed allegedly by Sattar in 1996, said Lt Col SM Masud Rana, commanding...

Nahid again promises action against illegal pvt universities

Nahid again promises action against illegal pvt universities

The authorities will take legal action against private universities which are not following government rules and regulations, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said yesterday. Just putting extra pressure on such private universities, which are still operating illegal campuses, and conducting irregularities and corruption only to earn extra money, is not enough, said the minister...

Govt must protect adolescent girls

Govt must protect adolescent girls

The government must focus on ensuring social protection for adolescent girls for sustainable development of the country, said discussants at a workshop yesterday. Save the Children organised the workshop titled “More Investment in Social Protection for Adolescent Girls-Bridging the Policy Gap” at The Daily Star Centre in the capital. Social protection means protecting adolescent girls...

WVA Meena Bazar in capital on Saturday

WVA International Meena Bazar will be held on Saturday at Banani Chairman Bari Field Road- 1 in the capital. Entry cards will be available at Women's Voluntary Association (WVA) office at house-405/A, road-27, Dhanmondi as well as at the entrance gate on Saturday. The WVA organises the fair every year to raise funds for its charitable projects.

Abducted boy's body found in septic tank

Police yesterday recovered the body of a boy from a septic tank in Sharifpur area of Gazipur a day after his abduction. They also arrested five persons -- Zakir Hossain, Saker Hossain, Pappu, Sajid and Jewel -- in this connection. On Wednesday, Jakir with his associates took Sajedur Rahman, 10 from his house for playing football, said police. Later, one Faisal demanded Tk 40,000 as ransom from Sajedur's father over the phone which he failed to pay. The abductors kept Sajedur tied in...

Road crashes kill 4

Countrywide road accidents killed four people and injured 10 others yesterday and Wednesday. Our Bogra correspondent reports, Harunur Rashid, 45, of Gaibandha died and nine others were injured when a bus and a truck collided head-on on Bogra-Dhaka highway near Shajahanpur upazila yesterday. A correspondent from Chittagong reports, Amanullah Patwari, 27, of Chandpur died as he was run over by a covered-van while crossing a road inside Chittagong port yesterday. Our Thakurgaon correspondent reports, Tomiz Uddin, 60, of Delua Madari village died...

Govt must ensure migrant workers' welfare

Govt must ensure migrant workers' welfare

The government, recruiting agents and non-government organisations (NGOs) should work together to ensure safe and dignified employment opportunities abroad while migrants' welfare must be guaranteed for their contribution to the economy, speakers told programmes in the capital and Barisal marking International Migrants Day 2014 yesterday. Meanwhile against the backdrop of Monday's appeal of Malaysian...

BCL creates panic on RU campus by bringing out illegal bike procession

Prompting students and teachers to flee and take shelter in buildings in panic, some 80 Bangladesh Chhatra League men of Rajshahi University (RU) and Rajshahi city units brought out a procession of some 30 motorcycles on the campus in violation of a ban yesterday while police allegedly let the perpetrators go. Against the backdrop of the February 2 attack by police and BCL activists on students protesting fee hikes and evening master's programmes, the RU authorities on March 3 banned...

Rural people should be encouraged to use RTI

The Right to Information (RTI) Act is a powerful tool to know whether institutions which run with public money are functioning properly, said speakers at a national seminar yesterday. However, the act becomes useless when the public do not use it to exercise their right to know, they added. The seminar on "Strengthening Citizenship among the Marginalised through Participatory Action Research and RTI Act" was organised by the Research Initiatives Bangladesh (RIB) at Hotel Lake Castle in the capital. Representatives of marginalised...

Lessons of Great War still relevant

Even after a century, the Great War remains pertinent in understanding the way of life and literature in today's world, scholars told an international conference at Dhaka University yesterday, pointing out the profound impacts it made subsequently. “We need to talk more about the Great War for a more peaceful and humane world so that such devastation doesn't recur,” said Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique, the vice-chancellor of DU.         “The Great War was a turning point that impacted almost everything of...

News In Brief

Man killed being pierced by falling bamboo Staff Correspondent A Rampura man resting in bed met a tragic end yesterday after a large piece of bamboo pierced him in the belly after going straight through the tin roof of his one-storey residence on slipping from ropes being used to pull it up to the roof of an adjacent five-storey building in the capital. Hawking for a living and a resident of Nasirer Tek area, Mohammad Ali, 50, was rushed to Dhaka Medical...

Obituary

SM Belayet Ali Khan alias Abu Sahan, former Kawkhali Sadar Union Parishad chairman, died at a Dhaka hospital yesterday. He was 78. Former Kawkhali upazila-unit president of Jatiya Party, he left behind his wife and a daughter.

Country

Two Years into Damage by Flooding

Farmers worried as sluice gate yet to be repaired

Farmers worried as sluice gate yet to be repaired

Farmers of Tengrakhali village in Zianagar upazila under the district are worried about the safety of their crops, especially khesari dal (a kind of pulse), from flooding as a damaged sluice gate there has remained without repair for around two years. The pulse is cultivated on around 1,000 acres of land at the village. Traditionally...

Poppadums make their life easier

Poppadums make their life easier

Each morning, Dinajpur town's Jogenbabur Math becomes a hive of activity. From an early hour, women from disadvantaged families arrive at the field to start rolling poppadums. Made from lentils and spices, the snack and side dish alternatively named as papad or papar has long been enjoyed across South Asia. Poppadums are also common in the West where they have become a well-established part of South Asian restaurant fare. Given the ease of final preparation, with the finished papars needing only to be fried in oil, the item is also increasingly enjoyed in western homes. At the field, traders supply raw materials, which are powdered and distributed for rolling. The flattened...

FF Kashem Fakir now fights for a morsel of bread

FF Kashem Fakir now fights for a morsel of bread

A valiant freedom fighter in Sadar upazila now runs his family of five by selling medicines for rat killing. The lone bread earner, FF Abul Kashem Fakir, 64, is facing great trouble to support his family as his earnings have drastically fell. “Days were when I earned Tk 150 to 200 a day by selling...

20 injured as rival AL men clash in Kushtia

At least 20 people, four with bullets, were injured in a clash between two rival groups of the ruling Awami League in Sadar upazila of the district yesterday. Of the injured, four hit by bullets are Mithun Ali, 22, Bokul Hossain, 35, Sabdar Ali, 40, and Mottleb Ali, 50. They are now undergoing treatments at Kushtia Medical College Hospital. Abdul Khaleq, officer in-charge of Kushtia Model Police Station, said there had been a long standing rivalry between the supporters of two...

Pabna AL council tomorrow

The district Awami League (AL) will hold its council tomorrow after nine years. Grassroots level activists want to elect their leaders through voting while the senior leaders are in favour of a selection committee from the party high command, said sources. “Internal party feud may take place if we go for voting. To avoid any untoward situation, we want a selection committee from party chief Sheikh Hasina,” said M Saidul Haque Chunnu, senior vice president of district unit AL. Five candidates will...

College boy abducted in Meherpur

Armed criminals abducted a college student in Gangni upazila of Meherpur district early yesterday. The victim, Rabbi Hossain, 18, son of Jahangir Hossain of Solotaka village of the upazila, is a HSC first-year student at Kushtia Government College. Reazul Islam, officer in-charge of Gangni Police Station, quoting victim's family members said Rabbi along with his paternal uncle Daud Hossai went to guard their fish enclosure at Solotaka Beel (water body) on Wednesday evening. A gang of 8/10 stormed into their makeshift hut,...

Raj Punnah fest begins today

Raj Punnah, a traditional festival of the Bohmang Circle, will begin today in the district amid  festivity. Seventeenth Bohmong king Bohmongree U Chaw Prue will inaugurate the three-day festival at the Bohmong Rajbari ground in the morning. Hundreds of tourists from home and abroad have already arrived to attend the festival. Besides, people from various communities including Chakma, Marma, Tangchangya, Tripura, Pankhua, Lusai, Khiyang, Bawm, Khumi,Mro, and Chak from three hill districts thronged the Royal House compund to enjoy the traditional festival. Raj...

Two killed in dredger capsize

Two workers were killed as a sand-laden dredger sank in the Shitalakkha River at Shaorait point of Kaligonj upazila on Wednesday night. The victims were identified as Mohammed Shawkat Ali, 34, son of Ahammed Ali of Jakuapara village under Chilmari upazila in Kurigram district and Mohammed Noab Ali, 40, son of Alim Uddin of Muradpur village of same district. Quoting locals, OC of Kaligonj PS Mohammed Nazmul Haque Bhuyan said, three workers of a dredger owned by one Billal Hossain alias...

Housewife murdered for dowry

A housewife was hacked to death allegedly by her husband at Kodupur village in Baniarchang upazila of Habiganj district on Wednesday night. She was identified as Jesmin Akter, 28, daughter of Mugol Miah of the village. Jesmin was married to Enayet Miah of the same village ten years ago. Enayet came to the house at night and hacked her over dowry around 8:00pm, relatives of the deceased said. Md Liakat Ali, officer in-charge of Baniarchang Police Station, said Enayet went into hiding...

Cane Crushing Starts in Two Northern Districts

Loss spirals due to unsold sugar

Loss spirals due to unsold sugar

Two sugar mills in Thakurgaon and Panchagarh districts are going to start their cane crushing season today in spite of large stocks of unsold sugar in their warehouses. Thakurgaon Sugar Mill is burdened with about 12,000 metric tones of unsold sugar of their last three seasons while Panchagarh Sugar Mill has unsold sugar of...

24 'mega' projects taken up to develop Khulna region

With an aim to modernise Khulna region, the Khulna Development Authorities (KDA) has taken up 24 'mega projects', sources said. Apart from remodeling Khulna city, the schemes are targeted to develop Noapara industrial belt and Mongla port with new infrastructures. Besides, seven more such projects, funded by KDA, at present are being implemented, they said. KDA sources said, once the projects are materialised, the region, including the divisional city, will have a completely new look. The projects mainly focus on solution to the...

Cop among 2 hurt in 'gunfight' with criminals

Two people including a policeman were injured in a 'gunfight' between the law enforcers and a gang of criminals in Sadar upazila of the district on Wednesday night. Mayen Uddin, a constable of Sadar Police Station, is among the injured. Police, however, arrested two criminals along with 17 bullets and three crude bombs from the spot. Wednesday morning, a gang abducted three construction labourers-- Shakil, Sujan and Jamal at gunpoint from Uttar Maguri area and demanded ransom from the victim's family members...

BNP calls 8-hr hartal in Bogra

Bogra district BNP has called a half-day hartal (shutdown) for tomorrow demanding immediate release of the five local BNP leaders and protesting the attack on Rafiul Islam Rubel, president of Jubo Dal's district unit. District unit of BNP announced the shutdown programme through a press release on Wednesday night. Contacted, Mir Shahe Alam, organising secretary of district unit, said the district BNP in an urgent meeting with its district unit vice-president Saiful Islam in the chair, decided to enforce the shutdown...

World

Palestinians seek to end occupation

Palestinians seek to end occupation

A draft resolution setting out a Palestinian timetable for a peace deal with Israel has been submitted to the UN Security Council. The document, presented by Jordan, calls for a deal within one year and Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories by the end of 2017. Jordan has indicated it will not seek a quick vote,...

US-Cuba thaw marks end of 'hard Castro-ism'

US-Cuba thaw marks end of 'hard Castro-ism'

The decision by the United States and Cuba to renew diplomatic relations marks the end of "hard Castro-ism" on the communist island and a victory for pragmatic diplomacy, analysts said. Cuban President Raul Castro helped pave the way for Barack Obama to make the politically delicate gesture by toning down the Havana government's anti-American...

Taliban School Attack

Pak army retaliates, kills 57 militants

Pak army retaliates, kills 57 militants

Pakistan army retaliated to the deadly Taliban attack at Peshawar school by killing 57 militants in massive airstrikes in the Khyber tribal region where the suicide bombers were reportedly trained. The army launched 20 airstrikes on Wednesday on several Taliban hideouts in Tirah valley area of Khyber tribal region which is adjacent to Peshawar...

Auschwitz guard, 93, to stand trial

Auschwitz guard, 93, to stand trial

He will almost certainly go down in history as the last Nazi death camp guard to face justice. Yet 93-year-old Oskar Gröning says he merely worked as an “accountant” in Auschwitz and feels duty-bound to confront  those who claim the Holocaust never happened. After decades of legal inaction, Gröning is to face charges of...

India's largest rocket launched successfully

India's largest rocket launched successfully

Taking an important step towards sending humans into space, India successfully flight tested the atmospheric re-entry of an experimental unmanned rocket after its heaviest launch vehicle GSLV Mk-III blasted off yesterday. After its lift-off from Sriharikota in southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, the 42.4 m expendable rocket of Indian Space Research Organization ascended to the sky with a one-way ticket as its design life span is just around five minutes. The Rs 155- crore mission tests the rocket's atmospheric flight stability powered by two engines with around four-tonne luggage. Just over five minutes into the flight, the rocket threw out the giant cupcake shaped crew module at an altitude of 126...

The mullah behind the Pak school attack

The mullah behind the Pak school attack

Once, if you wanted to speak with the man known as “Mullah Radio”, you had to travel to the remote, mountainous lands of Swat province in north-west Pakistan. There, between radio segments, a bearded preacher who would later assume command of a Taliban insurgency that on Tuesday killed more than 100 schoolchildren, would...

Palace denies Queen's abdication rumours

Buckingham Palace has been forced to deny rumours the Queen is to stand down in her Christmas Day broadcast, after a bookmaker said it was suspending bet following a flurry of “unusual” activity. Coral said it had been offering odds of 10-1 that the monarch would stand down during the address, which goes out at 3pm in every Commonwealth nation. A spokesperson for the Queen said that it was the Palace's policy “not to comment on any bookmakers' work”. And while there...

ISIS kills 150 women for refusing marriage

Iraq's Ministry of Human Rights has claimed that ISIS militants have executed at least 150 women in the Western province of Al-Anbar, Turkish media has reported. A statement released by the ministry on Tuesday said the militants had attacked women before burying them in mass graves in Fallujah, according to the Anadolu Agency. "At least 150 females, including pregnant women, were executed in Fallujah [...] after they refused to accept jihad marriage," the statement said. "Many families were also forced to migrate...

Russian 'bear' fighting for survival: Putin

Russian 'bear' fighting for survival: Putin

Though his country's economy is tanking, in part because of Western sanctions, President Vladimir Putin yesterday showed no sign of changing tack on war-torn Ukraine and compared Russia to a bear fighting for survival. Speaking during his annual end-of-the year news conference, the Russian strongman, 62, showed no willingness to tone down his fiery anti-Western rhetoric and branded Ukraine's attempt to crush a Moscow-backed separatist uprising in the east of the country a "punitive operation". Meanwhile, the EU yesterday imposed additional sanctions on Crimea, banning all investment and cruise ships from its ports to force home the message the bloc will not recognise Russia's "illegal annexation" of Ukraine territory. "The annexation is...

I've been mistaken for a valet: Obama

I've been mistaken for a valet: Obama

Barack Obama, the United States' first African-American president, has revealed that he has been mistaken for a valet because of the colour of his skin. "There's no black male my age, who's a professional, who hasn't come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn't hand them their car...

Boko Haram kills 32, kidnaps 185 in Nigeria

Boko Haram has kidnapped at least 185 people, including women and children, from a Nigerian village, carting the hostages away on trucks towards Sambisa Forest, a notorious rebel stronghold, two local officials and a vigilante leader said yesterday. The mass abduction, part of an attack that also killed 32 people, occurred Sunday in the village of Gumsuri, Borno state, in the embattled northeast. Both officials, who requested anonymity, said the local government established the number of those abducted through contacting families,...

Global life expectancy rises: Report

Global life expectancy has risen by more than six years since 1990 thanks to falling death rates from cancer and heart disease in rich countries and better survival in poor countries from diarrhoea, tuberculosis and malaria. In an analysis from the 2013 Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, health researchers said, however, that while life expectancy is rising almost everywhere in the world, one notable exception is southern sub-Saharan Africa, where deaths from HIV/AIDS have erased some five years of...

Obesity can be disability, rules EU court

The European Union's highest court yesterday ruled that obesity can be considered a "disability" if it hinders the overweight person's performance at work. The European Court of Justice had been asked by a Danish court to consider the case of a child minder in Denmark who said he was fired four years ago because he is obese. The employee, Karsten Kaltoft, filed a suit to obtain damages and interests from the municipality of Billund who employed him as a child minder,...

News in Brief

Sonia Gandhi admitted to hospital Our Correspondent, New Delhi Congress party President Sonia Gandhi was admitted to a hospital yesterday for treatment of lower respiratory tract infection. "She has been admitted to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital here for further treatment of the infection," Congress general secretary Ajay Maken told PTI.   Ebola toll rises to more than 6,900: WHO Afp, Geneva More than 6,900 people have now died from the Ebola virus, almost all of them in west Africa, the World Health Organization said on...

Wide Angle

Saving Pythons

Saving Pythons

She is a real naughty girl. Her beauty, her sinewy build and innocent eyes belie the impishness she nurtures. She would go where she is not to.  She would do what is forbidden for her. But she is bad at everything. Every time she performs some misdeeds, she gets caught red handed. In the middle...

The Star

Cover Story

THE SONGS OF FREEDOM

THE SONGS OF FREEDOM

Powerful lyrics can be turned into lethal weapons. Even today we are moved by the songs of 'Joy Bangla'r Gaan' (The songs of freedom). These songs have remained in the hearts of countless individuals since their creation in 1971. Mora Ekti Phul Ke Bachabo Bole Juddho Kori, Purbo Digonte Shurjo Utheche and Ek...

Chintito

Come December

Come December

Come December you hope to reminisce the terrible tragedy that befell our torn-apart habitation especially towards the end of our War of Liberation. 14 December 1971. It was a Tuesday. It was the day when the new Bangladesh nation discovered the final brutality of the Pakistan Army and their Bangla-speaking cohorts, the Razakars, the...

Writing the Wrong

Two Quick Love Bites

Two Quick Love Bites

I am unqualified to dispense relationship advice, yet lately that is precisely what I have been called upon to do more than once. Being posed specific questions has really gotten me thinking about life, love, and people. Most of my ideas come from observing and participating in various dynamics and relationships, some healthy, some...

Interview

“The Artist Needs the Audience to be Immersed”

“The Artist Needs the Audience to be Immersed”

I met Dr Susie Lingham, on my assignment to the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) of which she is the Director, while covering the opening of the Signature Art Prize 2014 at SAM, organised by the Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) Foundation. With a Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) in Literature, Religion and Philosophy from the...

Special Feature

Second Life: A Miracle of advanced Medical Science

Second Life: A Miracle of advanced Medical Science

It was on the second night that Shahana's husband thought he was signing the death warrant of his wife when he was asked to sign a form granting permission to try a drug, a last resort to bring her back. She  was sedated with ventilator support at the neuro-ICU of a leading private...

Shakir's Gift

Shakir's Gift

To his patients, he is an angel who has pulled them back to life from certain death. This doctor from Delhi may not be able to save all his neurological patients—but he excels in saving patients on whom other doctors had given up hope. The doctor, Dr Shakir Husain is considered a master neurosurgeon...

Achievement

Worry-less Wireless

Worry-less Wireless

Mobile phones, smart phones more precisely, were invented to make our lives easier. But how many of you are tired of seeing your phones die halfway through the day while you search for phone chargers to recharge your phone? I am one of those people who keeps losing battery chargers. Thus, every other week...

Art

BECAUSE SHE CARES

BECAUSE SHE CARES

“you and I are here 5000 feet under; under constant threat. The barb wires of power and invasion are coming down on us, to cut our space as far as possible. What is left for humanity is the sheer strength of being human.” This is how Reetu Sattar explains her latest performance '5000 Feet...

Musings

CHIMES OF FREEDOM

CHIMES OF FREEDOM

Freedom has its own strength. The achievements of an independent Bangladesh are many. The poverty level has plunged. We no longer have famines. In many social development indicators we have done better than neighbouring countries. Our success in women empowerment through microcredit has become a model for others. We have produced a Nobel laureate,...

Reflections

A Mystical Encounter

A Mystical Encounter

The mist was hanging heavy as I entered the forest. After a short walk, I came across a huge old concrete structure that appeared to loom out of the fog like a dinosaur from Jurassic Park. Broad slabs of stone stairs invitingly led up to the top. Impulsively, I climbed the stairs till I reached the platform on the top. A large bell hung from a heavy stone frame in the centre. Behind, the edifice was partly anchored on a rocky mountain that rose up from a calm blue sea. A short flight of steps led to a green terrace on the mountain slope. 'He…llo…!' I called. My voice travelled...

Village Flute

Something Happened

Something Happened

 If you ask my judgement the adults spoke sincerely. However, it was when the children spoke, when terror overtook their faces and they were on the verge of tears… I wouldn't have believed it… But in Dharmapur of Dinajpur's Biral Upazila, surely enough, something happened… To find any scrap of Bangladeshi countryside that's unpleasing...

Flashback ’71

Road to Freedom

Road to Freedom

January 1971. Academic activities had just begun at Tumilia Boys' Primary Government School. After few weeks of classes, school was suspended as the overall situation of the country deteriorated; the liberation war began within weeks. I was a student of grade one. I was just a kid but I can never forget those...

Travel

GOING DUTCH IN THE DIGITAL WORLD

GOING DUTCH IN THE DIGITAL WORLD

They are the sort of tenants landlords dream of. Seldom moving out and always paying the rent on time. No broken windows or soiled bathrooms. I was taken around one such place on a visit to the Netherlands a week ago. But these tenants are fussy about two things: tip-top air-conditioning and electricity supply....

Health

Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is where you have recurring and regular panic attacks, often for no apparent reason. Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety and panic at certain times during their lifetime. It's a natural response to stressful or dangerous situations. However, for someone with panic disorder, feelings of anxiety, stress and panic occur regularly and at any time. Anxiety is a feeling of unease. It can range from mild to severe and can include feelings of worry and fear. There are several conditions that can cause severe anxiety including: ! phobias – an extreme or irrational fear of an object, place, situation, feeling or animal ! generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) – a long-term condition that causes...

International

Abe's Japan

Abe's Japan

Prime minister Shinzo Abe has much to smile about after his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) romped back to power in Japan's general election with a two-thirds majority in the Lower House of parliament. Japanese voters gave the 60-year-old premier a renewed mandate to rule, possibly for another four years until the next general election in 2017. What's to be expected from Abe in the months ahead? Abe had said that the snap election, which came at the half-way mark of the Lower House's term, was a referendum on his Abenomics growth policies. That, says political analyst Jiro Yamaguchi of Hosei University, sounded more like an afterthought. Abe was undoubtedly well aware of...

Star Diary

Star Diary

Terrible Treatment Last week I had to go to the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) with my friend's relative who was suffering from stomach pain. We somehow managed to get an appointment but couldn't get any bed in the wards. One of the cleaners came to us and asked for some money, saying that he could arrange for a bed for the sick person. The condition of the patient was very critical and so we paid the cleaner the bribe he had asked for. After a couple of hours, a visiting doctor came and checked our patient. He prescribed some tests and added that it would be better for...

Quirky Science

Quirky Science

A hidden crisis of violence against women and girls Current efforts to prevent violence against women and girls are inadequate, according to a new series published in The Lancet. Estimates suggest that “globally, 1 in 3 women has experienced either physical or sexual violence from their partner and that 7% of women will experience sexual assault by a non-partner at some point in their lives.” Despite existing efforts, the report adds, “levels of violence against women—including intimate partner violence, rape, female genital mutilation, trafficking, and forced marriages—remain unacceptably high, with serious consequences for victims' physical and mental health.”    MASS SHOOTINGS DON'T BLAME MENTAL ILLNESS  When a mass ...

Remembrance

An Artiste's Life

An Artiste's Life

Khalil Ullah Khan was a leading Bangladeshi actor who achieved equally remarkable success in film, television and theatre. During his 50 years of acting career Khalil starred in 86 movies with pioneers like Zahir Raihan and Kalim Sharafi. This veteran actor was honoured with National Film Awards several times. He played an active role in promoting healthy entertainment and social messages through Bangladeshi films and television serials. We pay homage to this great artiste on his sudden departure from this world on December 7, 2014. Khalil Ullah Khan was born on February 2, 1934 in Kumarpara, Sylhet Along with his police officer father, he travelled to different remote districts of Bengal...

Postscript

How we see the 'Future of Our Nation'

How we see the 'Future of Our Nation'

On September 28 this year, our President and Prime Minister gave the customary messages of hope and encouragement to the children of the nation – oh and to the world too, to commemorate "World Child Rights Day” and Child Rights Week-2014". The President reiterated the clichéd 'children are the future of the world' mantra and added that that if they were nurtured properly the world and civilisation would prosper. The Prime Minister reminded people that her father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had passed the Bangladesh Child Right Law in 1974. She said that her government had taken extensive programmes to improve the lot of the children. Perhaps it was such...

MAILBOX

MAILBOX

Parenting 101 The cover story came at a time when a lot of parents are wondering about where they have gone wrong in raising their children. I am not a mother yet. So I am not much of an expert on how to raise children. But I have parents and I know how they...

SNAPSHOT

Spider, Spider

Spider, Spider

Habit allowed, steady gains in strength. At first it may be but as a spider's web, easily broken through, but if not resisted it soon binds us with chains of steel. - Tryon Edwards

1 MINUTE PLEASE!

1 MINUTE PLEASE!

With her cooking show Rannaghar, Alpana Habib has carved her culinary niche in the world of cooking and the heart of cooks: from the expert to the beginners. While all the TV channels are loaded with a number of cooking shows, her show stands out for her easy-to-make delicious recipes and mealtime strategies, her advices on healthy food consumption and her easy going hosting. “One of my greatest achievements was a compliment from Siddiqua Kabir, the cooking guru, who believed that we have so many similarities in our cooking and the philosophy behind it,” says Alpana smilingly. It is also very important to her that the recipes work outside...

Voicebox

"Some of you may be surprised by my words. Some of you may think that I am merely chanting diplomatic niceties. Not so. I speak of facts – clear facts." DAN W MOZENA Outgoing US Ambassador to Bangladesh Commented at a discussion titled “America-Bangladesh Relations: Economic and Social Perspective” organised by the Centre for Non-Resident Bangladeshis in Dhaka "Have you ever heard of such arrogance? As if we cared about visas to get in the United States... Idiots!" NICOLAS MADURO Venezuelan president Commented after US said...

HOME AND ABROAD

HOME AND ABROAD

Remembering Our Martyrs Dhaka. President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina show respect to the martyred by placing wreaths at Martyred Intellectuals Memorial in the capital's Mirpur, marking Martyred Intellectuals Day on December 14. Heritage Replaced Barisal. The 300-year-old Bakerganj Jail Canal is being filled up to build a drain in its place by...

Cartoon

Babu

Babu

 

Next Step

Helping hands

The ever-growing NGO industry

The ever-growing NGO industry

Developing countries like Bangladesh are rife with corruption and poverty, as a result of which the government is often unable to provide public goods efficiently. It is this gap in providing public service goods that non-government organizations (NGOs), which operate independently of government authorities, attempt to fill in.   At the time of independence, Bangladesh fell under the category of the development 'basket case' (as described by Henry Kissinger's state department), i.e. a country that would always depend on aid. Despite such predictions, major development indicators have shown remarkable progress. Girl-child enrolment rates in schools...

British Council's Tell-Your-Tale award ceremony

British Council's Tell-Your-Tale award ceremony

Starting with modest beginnings in 1934, the British Council is currently operating over 190 offices in almost every part of the world, and with over 60 years of operation in Bangladesh, to mark the occasion, British Council Dhaka organized a nationwide competition called Tell-Your-Tale, held across October and November. In response, people across...

Masters of Ideation 2014 kicks off

Masters of Ideation 2014 kicks off

NSU Young Entrepreneurs' Society (YES!) is hosting its signature event Masters of Ideation from the 9th of January. The event – which came to life in 2012 – is in its third year and comprises of two phases, the intra NSU round and the Nationwide Inter University round. Masters of Ideation is a Business...

This week's free course is “Generating Creative and Innovative Ideas: Enhancing Your Creativity”

This week's free course is “Generating Creative and Innovative Ideas: Enhancing Your Creativity”

Overview What makes a person creative? Do you consider yourself creative? Certain personal characteristics have been linked with creativity – for example, a willingness to take risks, the ability to connect diverse ideas, and open-mindedness. Most important, perhaps, is believing that you are creative. Many people get stuck because they think 'I'm not a...

Letters

Letter To The Editor

Dastardly attack on schoolchildren

Dastardly attack on schoolchildren

At least 132 children were killed and several others injured in a horrific attack at a school in Peshawar, Pakistan on December 16. Gunmen entered the school premises and indiscriminately opened fire on innocent children who were attending classes and exams in the morning session. We have no word to condemn this barbaric...

Letter To The Editor

A crook's last trick to keep job

Wahidur Rahman, the chief engineer of Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), resorted to a novel way to extend his service period for the third time (although it was reported later that he failed to do so). What he did was very smart; he presented a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) worth Tk. 3.5 crore to the LGRD minister using the funds of the Primary Education Development Programme-3 (PEDP-3). We have known from your report that he earlier extended his job...

Letter To The Editor

Kudos to Malala and Satyarthi

Malala Yousafzai remains an inspiration for the suppressed people all around the globe in their fight against all odds as she is boldly protesting all forms of torture by the vested interest groups. In a similar vein, Kailash Satyarthi should be our role model for his supreme sacrifice and selfless service for the innocent, vulnerable kids whose immense potential get ruthlessly nipped in the bud. Indeed no kudos is enough for the Nobel Peace Prize Committee for awarding due...

Comments on news report

“Gift didn't work,” published on December 12, 2014 Saiekh Sohrauddin Legal procedures should be followed to immediately sue this man. Snr Citizen Just the tip of the iceberg. Goodbye, Wahidur Rahman. **** “CIA's odious torture tactics” (Dec. 12, 2014) Md. Golam Mortoza May the history be written with the facts and the leaders of the then-US government put in the right place. Hope eventually the people of the world will know what actually happened on 9/11 and onward and how the so called 'civilised' leaders came forward...

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